The Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD has been named 4×4 Australia magazine’s four-wheel drive of the year for 2014, beating out more-expensive vehicles.
The award will be announced in the magazine on Thursday, with the Jeep taking the crown in a unanimous decision.
Judges named the Range Rover Sport the second-best off-roader, with the Range Rover SDV8 in third place.
Magazine editor Matt Raudonikis said the Jeep was a great all-road touring vehicle.
“Sure, it doesn’t have the unstoppable off-road ability of a Jeep Wrangler but it does everything else so well,” he said.
“The Grand Cherokee has a level of performance, safety, comfort and convenience features that belie its $71,000 price tag.”
This year’s winners were named after a week-long drive program including highways, country roads, gravel roads, steep rocky tracks and beach driving.
The test was conducted in regional NSW with the judges, including past and present editors, auto industry experts and off-road enthusiasts, camping in the bush each night.
Road test editor Fraser Stronach said unanimous decisions were rare in the history of the award.
“This speaks volumes for the attributes, performance, appeal and, above all, the value of the Grand Cherokee,” he said.
“This is a brilliant back-roads tourer that, by 4×4 standards, feels like a sports car.”